A large outage affected multiple Google services around the World this morning (Monday 14th December 2020), including Gmail, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Drive, Google Meet and more. Google’s streaming game platform, Stadia, was also down. Even the Google Play Store was not allowing downloads or payments to be made on the platform.
Google has since noted that, “most downed services including Gmail and YouTube are now returning to normal after this extended outage.”
A huge spike was reported on DownDetector at around 11:56am GMT (3:56am PT). Users experienced multiple issues when trying to access many Google services on mobile and desktop with notices such as “Something went wrong.” Gmail showed a “Temporary error (500)” notice. When trying to access the Google Assistant on smart speakers and Google Nest hardware you were met with a “there was a glitch, try again in a few seconds” message.
With millions across the globe relying so heavily on Google services and platforms such as G Suite and Gmail to operate, going down can be a costly issue.
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
Facebook is not having a good week. Users are reporting on social media this morning (Thursday 10th December 2020) that Facebook services including Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Facebook itself are all currently suffering outages.
These reports come on the heels of the news yesterday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States has launched an Antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.
The majority of issues appear to be occurring in European countries, but users have been reporting issues in other countries also, including Trinidad and Tobago, France, Philippines and Australia. Facebook Messenger in particular is suffering delays in sending and receiving messages as well as formatting issues. In-line replies also appear to be broken in Messenger. Others are unable to post or access their news feeds, direct messages, and stories across the Facebook-owned apps.
Facebook hasn't yet responded to the reports of widespread connection issues.
Are you currently experiencing any issues with your Facebook apps? Let us know in the comments below.
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
After months of rumors, Apple has finally officially announced AirPods Max today (Tuesday 8th December 2020). AirPods Max is an innovative wireless headphones that bring the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound. AirPods Max join the existing AirPods family - AirPods and AirPods Pro.
AirPods Max combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. AirPods Max come in five (5) gorgeous colors, including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink, and are available to order starting today for US $549, with availability beginning on Tuesday 15th December 2020.
According to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing:
AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio.
AirPods Max feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard. A unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume.
Equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software, AirPods Max use computational audio to deliver the highest quality listening experience possible. Utilizing each of the chips’ 10 audio cores — capable of 9 billion operations per second — computational audio powers a breakthrough listening experience that includes Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.
AirPods Max join the existing AirPods family in delivering unparalleled wireless audio, whether a customer is listening to music, making phone calls, enjoying TV shows and movies, playing games, or interacting with Siri. The magical setup experience customers love with today’s AirPods and AirPods Pro extends to AirPods Max with one-tap setup, followed by automatic pairing with all the devices signed in to a user’s iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
AirPods Max automatically detect when they are on a user’s head using the optical and position sensors. Once in place, AirPods Max play audio and can pause once removed or when the user simply lifts one ear cup. With AirPods Max, voice calls and Siri commands are crisp and clear due to beam-forming microphones that block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice.
AirPods Max feature great battery life with up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.
AirPods Max come with a soft, slim Smart Case that puts AirPods Max in an ultralow power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.
AirPods Max require Apple devices running iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, or tvOS 14.3 or later.
Google Photos is the home for more than 4 Trillion photos and videos and a remarkable 28 Billion new photos and videos are uploaded every week. However, many users of this very popular service will soon need to look at other alternatives for their unlimited free storage needs.
Starting 1st June 2021, all new photos and videos backed up in High quality in Google Photos will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with your Google Account or any additional storage you may have purchased, the same way other Google services like Google Drive and Gmail already do.
All photos and videos you back up in High quality before 1st June 2021 are exempt from this change and will not count toward your Google Account storage. This includes all of your existing content uploaded in High quality.
We launched Google Photos more than five years ago and since then, it's become more than just an app to manage your photos. It's become a place you go when you feel nostalgic and want to reminisce. Today, Google Photos is the home for more than 4 trillion photos and videos, including yours, and a remarkable 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded every week. In order to welcome even more of your memories and build Google Photos for the future, we are announcing a change to our storage policy.
Do I need to do anything right away?
No, you can continue to use Google Photos to back up your photos and videos. After 1st June 2021, Google will reach out and send reminders when you are nearing your storage limit. Most users will have years before they need to take action.
When will I reach my free 15 GB of storage?
Google Photos created a personalized estimate that shows how much time you have until you reach your quota. This estimate takes into account how frequently you back up photos, videos and other content to your Google Account.
What can I do to manage my storage?
On 1st June 2021, Google Photos will be launching a new storage management tool which will help you easily find and delete dark, blurry, and otherwise unwanted content. You can also purchase more storage with Google One where available.
We are grateful that you choose Google Photos to safely store your memories. This change enables us to keep up with the growing demand for photo storage and remain focused on building Google Photos for the future. To learn more about this change, check out our Help Centre article or Blog Post.
If your Smartphone is running low on storage, and you use WhatsApp often, it’s possible that videos, photos and voice messages stored in the app may be taking up significant space on your device. Even though the app has always provided a way to delete WhatsApp media, the process has now been made a lot easier.
WhatsApp is releasing a new and improved way to manage storage on the app, helping users easily identify, select and bulk delete content that may be filling their phone.
WhatsApp now flags media as ‘Larger Than 5 MB’ and ‘Forwarded Many Times,’ for example, and allows you to select-all files and then delete all of it. For the rest, you can see which files are taking up most space and delete them selectively.
An update with this new feature is rolling out globally this week for both iPhone and Android users. You can check for it in the app by going to Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage.
Netflix is gearing up for another price hike for its streaming service. The updated pricing is already in effect for new customers while existing users in the United States will see the increase over the coming weeks.
Netflix’s basic plan (single screen) will continue to cost U.S $8.99 per month, while its most popular standard plan (2 screens) will see a jump by 7.7% from U.S $12.99 to U.S $13.99 per month. The top-tier premium plan will get the biggest increase, by 12.5%, from U.S $15.99 to U.S $17.99 per month.
What does this mean for Netflix customers in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean? Well, for now the price hike only seems to apply to U.S customers but this could foreshadow what’s to come in the near future.
The last time Netflix raised its prices was back in January 2019. The company is facing increased competition in the streaming market with recent services like Apple TV+, Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max.
Netflix’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer, Greg Peters, recently hinted that a price jump was coming at an earnings call. He said that as the company invests more into both content and tech developments, they’ll “occasionally go back and ask [customers] to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going.”
In the past, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings has said the company is okay with losing some customers due to things like price hikes and competitors.
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